If you’re like most people, you probably wave to each other, maybe your kids are friends, or maybe you just know that they have a lot of different balls that somehow miss the fence and wind up in your yard.
Statistics estimate that nearly 35 percent of the U.S. population never speak to their neighbors, and only about 17 percent actually interact with their neighbors one to two times weekly.
Tisha and Audrey were a similar reflection of these statistics. Some of their kids were very close, which ultimately brought them together as friends—more than most neighbors.
Last year, Audrey knocked on Tisha’s door and asked if her three kids could spend the night. She had to go to the doctor for some tests in the morning. The kids were excited, and Tisha didn’t think much of it—having five children of her own already, three more wasn’t much of a difference for her and her husband, Kevin.
Those tests changed Tisha and Audrey’s families’ lives forever.
Audrey learned that she had stage 2 esophageal stomach cancer. The single mother of three asked Tisha and her husband to become their legal guardians. Without hesitation they said “yes.”
Audrey passed away quickly after that.
For Tisha, growing her family from seven to 10 was a no-brainer. She had been raised in an orphanage, and didn’t want these kids to endure anything she had to go through in the foster care system.
She and Kevin are now working on becoming foster parents so that they can be more than just legal guardians for Audrey’s kids. Tisha hopes this will protect them from being separated or passed around in the system.
The trouble is, their house isn’t sufficient enough for the state to grant them permission to be foster parents. Two of the boys share a loft, which isn’t considered a room because it needs a wall, and many of the other kids share beds. Tisha’s oldest kids are 16 and 18 years old. One sleeps on the couch recliner, and the other has a make-shift room with a futon off of the kitchen.
Las Vegas’ Fox 5 Surprise Squad showed up just before Christmas to be the family-of-10’s guardian angels. With the help of the community, and various businesses who were willing to offer their services, the team sent the family to stay in a hotel for a week while they put up the needed wall.
Little did they know, the surprise squad was up to a lot more than just building a bedroom wall. The community donated money and items so that the family’s house could be completely re-painted, have new carpets installed, all brand new furniture and a bed for every single family member!
The transformation came as a complete shock to the family, who came home to a totally improved living space with new surprises around every corner.
And the blessings didn’t stop there. Thanks to their partnership with Albertson’s, the Surprise Squad gifted the family with a full year of free groceries. They also financially supported Tisha’s oldest son with his goal of moving out, and the local Nissan dealership that partners up with the Surprise Squad presented the family with a brand new 12-passenger vehicle!
Thanks to the Surprise Squad, this family was given the well-deserved tools and resources they need to keep moving forward.